Tag Archives: food

Nectarine Peach Shortcakes

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{Nectarine Peach Shortcakes}

Whenever our family goes to the beach we always seem to pack nectarines and peaches.  Most of the time they are devoured but this time around we had a few left over so I chopped them up and incorporated them into yummy shortcakes (cream scones).  Seriously, nothing beats some warm scones and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Yum.      

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So since I have no formal training in the kitchen (self & family taught) I have learned a few tricks along the way.  Cutting the butter into the flour mixture when making scones is a very very  important step to create a flaky consistency.  For the longest time I didn’t have a pastry blender so a little trick I learned that works the same way is to coarsely grate the butter into the flour using a cheese grater.  Then get your hands all dirty and work the mixture until the crumby texture forms.

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 Then to make these, I literally just formed 10 dough balls with my hands and slightly pressed them down on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. (P.S. I highly recommend you flour your hands or else you will be a gooey mess)  You can easily use a cookie cutter but I kind of love the effortless look it makes when you free hand them.  Enjoy.

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What are your favorite types of scones? Comment & subscribe below xo

 

Amanda

Source| Template from Love vs. Design , Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart 

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A Weekend in Philly

philly

{A weekend in Philly}

A couple weeks ago, Brian and I spent the weekend in Philly.  The weather was great, the food was fantastic, and the trip couldn’t have been more fun.  We started the weekend with an open mind, excited to try some good food and explore what Philly had to offer.  We started off at Reading Terminal Market– which was amazing.  We walked up and down the aisles filled with great pastries, produce, seafood, and of course, ice cream.  After consuming an unconceivable amount of cookies and ice cream from the merchants we walked along the streets to find adorable cafés and restaurants overflowing with people in the gorgeous sunny weather.  We had our mind set that this is where we would come back for dinner and boy was it the best decision of the weekend.  The first night we ate at The Corner.

Before I tell you about this place let me back track a bit.  It was Saturday night around 7:30- probably prime dinner time in the popular little hub of food heaven.  We had no reservations and were hoping to get in at least somewhere (being NYC people, we should have thought about making a reservation before hand). We walked aimlessly into about 5 restaurants and after a half hour of being told the wait was about “an hour and forty-five minutes” we were hungry and getting anxious. So, we happened to try one last spot before giving up- The Corner.  The hostess told us that the wait was just as long but if we wanted we could sit at the chef’s table right away.  I wasn’t sure what the heck a “chef’s table” was, but Brian and I were so hungry that we decided to give it a try.

BEST DECISION OF OUR LIVES.

We sat at this long marble counter facing the open kitchen. We were able to watch the chefs prepare all the food and asked them about certain dishes.  The food was fantastic, one of the chefs even gave us a little bit of hush puppies to try since we told him we’ve never had them before.  It wound up being such a great experience and look forward to eating there again.  On Sunday we went to the Phillies game and tried out another restaurant for dinner on the strip called El Vez which was amazing.  I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend & I’m excited to explore Philly again soon!

Reading terminal market

{Reading Terminal Market}


the corner

{Mussels @ The Corner}

the corner

{Grilled Pork Chop @ The Corner}

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{Phillies Game}citizen's bank parkbrian

{Brian at the Phillies game enjoying the warm weather}brian & amandael vez

{Guac & Chips @ El Vez}

Please comment and subscribe below.  Have any of you been to Philly & know of any great hot spots?

Amanda

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A Weekend in Ithaca

Ithaca

A couple of weekends ago my parents and I went to Ithaca, New York, for my sisters swim meet. My friend, Jaclyn, decided to come along  with us, which added even more fun to the party.   Ithaca is only about a three and a half hour drive from our house, but it was just so nice to get away for the weekend.  We started off the weekend by heading over to the swim meet, then to Kilpatrick’s Publick House for some lunch where we had their fish and chips, sheppard’s pie, and burgers. Yum.

After we absolutely stuffed ourselves on some lunch, we set out for some local sight seeing around Ithaca before the second session of the swim meet started. We happened to stumble upon Buttermilk Falls State Park, which was such a fun time!  It actually happened to be the first time I saw a waterfall and was super excited despite that fact that it was almost frozen over.

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{Buttermilk Falls State Park}

Next, we headed over to a local food store to pick up some groceries for dinner.   As we were checking out, I asked the cashier how to get to Cayuga Lake- one of New York’s Finger Lakes.  After a little bit of navigating we made it, and let me just tell you, it was  perfect.   When we got there, the sun was setting and the reflection off the frozen lake was breathtaking.

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{Cayuga Lake}

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{Jaclyn and Dad standing on frozen Cayuga Lake}

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{Jaclyn and me venturing out onto the lake}

Until next year, Ithaca.

Amanda

* I do not recommend standing on frozen Cayuga Lake unless stated otherwise 
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Classic Crumb Cake

Crumb Cake{Crumb Cake}

Over here in the Tri-State area, we have been buried in snow for what seems to be forever.  Once the snow is shoveled and the ice finally begins to melt, the snow just decides to keep on comin back.  Seriously, what is up with this weather? 

Trying to save myself from another diagnosis of cabin fever, I picked up my Martha Stewart’s Cakes cookbook and began to bake away. (Obviously, the only solution).  Anyway, now that we got the snow drama out of the way, let me tell you about this crumb cake.

I like crumb cake but it is not normally my first choice of yummy treats- put ice cream in front of me and the crumb cake normally doesn’t stand a chance.  BUT, this recipe was sooo good that, unfortunately, I must admit that I ate it for breakfast and dessert.  Yeah, that good.  

Hope you enjoy this crumb cake as much as I did.

Crumb Cake 2

Crumb cake recipe

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I also would like to mention that I didn’t use cake flour.  I had a ton of all-purpose flour already in my house and wanted to use it up.  So if you have all purpose flour in the kitchen, it is totally fine for this recipe as long as you use the conversion:  1 cup of cake flour = 1 cup of all-purpose minus 2 tablespoons (1 cup – 2 tbsp).  Now you have a cake flour equivalent without having to go out and buy it, voilà!  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to comment & subscribe below!  xo

Amanda

Source| Template from Love vs. Design , recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cakes

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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Under $100: The Foodie

The Foodie

The Foodie

1. Menu Mashup- The Food Game

2. Kitchen Coquette: The Go-To Guide for Those Random Life Scenarios When Food Is the Only Answer

3. The Spice Lab Gourmet Sea Salt Sampler 

4. Ballard Bee Company Wildflower Honey

5.  Takeout Menu Organizer 

6. Destination Dinners Exotic Dinner Kit 

Day 3: The Foodie! I have to admit, if you haven’t already realized, but I am a total foodie.  So, picking out 6 unique “Foodie” gifts under $100 was not a challenge one bit. I picked out a menu mashup food game, a go-to guide for random life scenarios when food is the only answer, a sea salt sampler, wildflower honey, an awesome take out menu organizer, and a destination dinners exotic dinner kit. Pretty much perfect “foodie” gifts.  We love food,  we love gifts, so obviously we all will love food gifts.

Time to take food shopping to a whole new level.

Amanda

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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Under $100: The Holiday Hostess

I absolutely love the holiday season but what I definitely don’t love is the chaotic present searching that comes along with it.  So, that’s where I come in! This  holiday season I created the week long Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide and get this… all gifts under $100. Also, today just so happens to be Cyber Monday, so who knows, maybe you’ll be able to score these holiday hostess gifts for even cheaper!

It is hard to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list so starting today, for a full week, I will be posting perfect presents for different types of personalities (for girls and guys) and where to buy them. How awesome, right?

Make sure to check back tomorrow for Day 2 of the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, can you guess which gift guide is next?

Holiday Hostess Homerun Homemaker's

1. J.Crew Coaster Set  (Similar one here)

2. Kate Spade Salt and Pepper Shakers 

3. J.Crew Crystal Shimmer Earrings 

4. Okuno Measuring Cups 

5. DII Pink Pout Daisy Garden Apron

6. Neiman Marcus Shaker 

7. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Soy Candle-Geranium

8. Vintage Cocktails (Similar one here)

Amanda

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Giving Thanks

I know, normally, I am my super silly self, but today is Thanksgiving, so my post is going to a bit more deliberately expressed.

For those of you who probably don’t know, I work on the floors of a children’s hospital. Many people are often heartbroken at the idea that I help normalize the hospital experience for very, very sick children and their families. I play games, talk to families, and make arts & crafts in the play room with many children. For the children who are so sick they can’t leave their hospital bed, I go into their rooms and bring a bunch of activities or even sometimes just sit with them to keep them company. This is where I learned to play a mean game of Monopoly Deal, make Shrinky Dinks like a champ, and trained my lungs to make countless latex balloon gloves.  

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It is a heartbreaking, yet very rewarding job, that reassures me to be thankful for even the slightest little gems in my everyday life.  What these children have taught me is that there is always, always something to be thankful for. Today, I want to share some things I am thankful for in hopes that you will do the same:

I am thankful for my eyes which allows me to see the good in people.

I am thankful for my home, the food I eat (or blog about haha), & the clothes on my back.

I am thankful for my good health.

I am thankful for long weekends, ice cream cake, and HGTV.

I am thankful for the difficult times, because it is during those times I grow.

I am thankful for you, my followers, for brightening up my day when I least expect it.

I am thankful for my family, friends, and loved ones who have helped me become the person I am today.

Most importantly, I am thankful for the gift of life, because there are people who are fighting to survive.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Amanda

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Apple & Pumpkin Picking

apple crates

{Apple Crates}

Every single year my family carves pumpkins.  It has been a tradition my mom and dad started when they got married and it has continued ever since. My mom makes dinner, my dad bakes the pumpkin seeds, then we eat yummy fall desserts, and carve away competitively since it is an annual competition we take very seriously.  Half of us just make simple faces like normal people and the rest of us carve away imagining we are as talented as a pumpkin carving Picasso (I’ll admit, I totally think I’m the pumpkin carving Picasso for some reason).

Every year it starts off with my dad trying to find where he misplaced his Phantom of the Opera CASSETTE tape. Yes, cassette tape. Then, after the rest of us have started slaving away over our pumpkins he finds it, pulls up his cassette player from the basement, turns off all the lights, and blasts the music from the play.  Then my mom always tells him to turn on the lights because none of us can see, and then it officially begins.  It’s sort of like groundhog day, except it’s more like annual family pumpkin carving day…

Also, this year my boyfriend and I went apple/pumpkin picking with two of our friends the day before pumpkin carving day and we had so much fun.  We spent the whole day picking apples, drinking cider, and spending some quality time with them.  We had such a great time that perhaps we should make apple picking day a tradition too.

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{Apple display}

Apples

{With our apples we picked we made some caramel apples, how delicious, tempted to eat them all.}

Pumpkins

{My dracula & Brian’s silly face}

Pumpkins

{What do you think of everyone’s pumpkin?: Mario, Dracula, melting candle, silly face, silly face, tree}

Amanda

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Hidden Gems

I am so in love with the zoo.  You probably saw my fall bucket list last week and visiting the Bronx Zoo was on the list.  I am proud to say Brian and I made it happen and snapped some great pictures of NYC hidden gems along the way.  At the zoo we walked so much (it seemed like a marathon) that our legs felt like jello by the time we got to the Gorilla forest.  As a reward for all our marathon walking, we ate steak and lobster mac and cheese at at our favorite restaurant for dinner.  It was only necessary.  Yum.  

Now it’s time to cross an item off the fall bucket list.

Bronx Zoo

{Bronx Zoo with Brian}

NYC

{Loved the sunlight on this building while walking, NYC}

Art{Amazing graffiti art, NYC}

Amanda

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Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shortbread

{Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies}

Do you know those chocolate chip cookies in those giant dessert cases at a diner? Well, I have been looking for that recipe forever.  Those are my mom’s favorite cookies and I have been on the longest search to find a “diner” chocolate chip cookie recipe.  (If you have one, please send it my way!) So, in my numerous attempts to find a “diner” chocolate chip recipe I found this gem, a shortbread chocolate chip cookie recipe!  While they are not the “diner” cookies, they are really really yummy shortbreads and totally worthy of a post.

Shortbread

Right before I was about to put these cookies in the oven, I took some extra chocolate chips and smooshed them on top for garnish and for some extra chocolate.  Also, as a side note, when the cookies come out of the oven, they may look underdone, however these cookies do not take on much color so try not to over bake them in fear of raw cookies.

Enjoy the shortbread cookies my little gems!

shortbread

Amanda

Source| Recipe adapted from  Baking: From My Home to Yours
& Template from Love vs. Design

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